May 9, 2018

On Not Being Ashamed

It's really difficult to admit that you can't do something. I think you realize a point of growth when realizing that asking for help does not mean that you need to be ashamed. 

I've talked many times here that we have been through so much the past few years. There's times I look back on it and break down when saying the words "my husband had a stroke" or "I was on bedrest for 2 months during my pregnancy", and other times I am very proud of what we have overcome. 
When I was in the hospital, the first few days a lot of information was thrown at me. Statistics, medical terms, instructions, precautions...but a group called Grady's Decision was named that had me intrigued. After I was told about them, I looked them up on Facebook and realized I had several connections who had received their help in the past. In their words, Grady's Decision is a 501c3 non-profit organization, was created to present a glimpse of God’s love to families experiencing premature births as well as those families with children needing specialized medical attention.
We serve as a beacon of hope through prayer, words of encouragement, gifts and acts of kindness. Grady’s Decision provides an avenue for people to donate and assist these family members during this difficult and emotional time. Assistance is case managed based on need. Grady’s Decision can assist with parking costs, food, housing near hospitals and transportation needs. Ultimately, our organization meets the needs of families whether they be financial, emotional or spiritual.
On day 2 of being in the hospital, a social worker came to visit me and gave me an application for Grady's Decision with the chance to tell our story and a parking pass for our family to use so Chuck and other daily visitors didn't have to pay every single day when coming to the hospital. A few days later, a board member who is also part of the hospital staff came by to tell me her story and how she got involved with Grady's. It was very comforting to hear her about her pregnancy and how big of a blessing the organization was to her. The Grady's Family asked if we had a name for our baby and we shared it with them, and they prayed for us every day. She let me talk to her and share my fears, what was on my mind and our family situation. 
It was hard for me to share that we didn't have a nursery finished, that our savings for my maternity leave now had to pay bills since I was out of work for a few months, and that my husband had to work 2 jobs to make ends meet while going through all of this. She helped me understand that we don't always have control of life, and things happen. 

A few weeks later, Grady's said they would be at the hospital visiting NICU families and asked if they could come by and talk with me. I welcomed their company, and got to meet the Founder and another board member. The other board member asked about our family, if we had other children, etc.. and as I told him things he mentioned how positive and upbeat I seemed about everything. He asked how far along I was in my pregnancy, how our situation of being on bedrest happened and things and commended me on how positive and what a great outlook I had. He was very kind and something about him told me this was a wonderful moment for both of us. Words can't explain how their presence alone helped me so much. I couldn't wait to talk to Chuck after work that evening, because it was such a beautiful night with people that felt like old friends. 
Grady's texted me the morning of our induction letting me know that they were praying and thinking of us, and Ryan- the Founder saw Bella in NICU before I did. He messaged me saying how beautiful she was and it was just so special. 
It felt wonderful to have the support of so many people we didn't really know. They cared because it was something they had been through. Unexpected things happen in life, and there are really amazing people out there to help you get through it. They helped me not feel ashamed for receiving their help.

Life has lots of crazy turns and awkward moments. It may be forgetting your debit card when you're at the store and having the person behind you pay for you, or it could be going through a tough time that you didn't plan on and having some generous people pay your bills that month. Be grateful for every single day and new chance you receive, give your goodness back to the universe...and don't be ashamed for taking on the unexpected.

I would like to thank Grady's Decision and their organization full of beautiful souls that we will forever be grateful for, and again for all of you for your support through life. Xo!

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